Custom stair nose

Unfortunately it looks like the stair nose I ordered is never coming in.

Solution? Make my own!

Note: Please understand how to work with things correctly. PVC contains Chlorine which is dangerous, if you don’t know this, look up proper safety stuff.

From the bottom.

From the bottom.

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Bathroom sink

When replacing the entry half bath I noticed that the toilet wasn’t centered. Supposedly this is to make the room look bigger. I don’t know about that, but things not being centered or aligned bothers me, so I wasn’t sure what to do. I decided in the end that the vanity doors should be aligned with the toilet and a cubby would be put to one side for TP and such.

The toilet is not centered on the wall.

The toilet is not centered on the wall.

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Makita XT257M review (DC18RC XPH07Z XDT08Z BL1840)

DC18RC battery charger

The DC18RC battery charger that was included is a bit odd.
The first thing you are likely to notice is that it advertises a different charge time for the different battery capacities. As none of the charge rates appear to exceed the 18 V / 9 A output shown on the bottom, I am not really sure why. There are a number of possibilities, but none really make sense in this context. Presumably is has something to do with heat dissipation, as it always does, but the tools should draw more current, and they don’t have fans.
After charging my battery, the battery seemed to be at room temperature but I found the charger case to be quite hot. I don’t have a thermometer on me but I can say it was significantly hotter than any charger I have ever used, and use mostly Chinese knockoffs to charge my LiPos. As a result, I decided to open the case.
DC18RC_450px

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Programming the ESP-01 to control RGB strips via MQTT

Now that I have shown you two different hardware setups for the RGB strips, it is time to talk about the chip firmware and software.

I have chosen to use NodeMCU which uses Lua as the programming language. The good news is that all the functions you need are already there. As a result, even someone like me who doesn’t know Lua can easily write it.

And, thanks to a number of online blogs detailing what is going on, it is mostly copypasting existing code. Mostly this is adapted from the blog of openhardware.co.za. There were a few things unclear, but I suggest looking at it as he has much more verbose documentation.

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Controlling a RGB strip controller.

You can easily find a 5 m RGB LED strip and controller for under $15 on amazon. The controllers have an IR remote and receiver that lets you select (and in more recent versions, program) a number of different lighting options. They are fairly cool, but IR remotes require line of sight and just aren’t as cool as using your phone/tablet/computer.

A simple injection molded case with a few wires sticking out.

A simple injection molded case with a few wires sticking out.

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ESP-01 NFET Board for RGB strips

The ESP8266-01 is a cheap (~$2) WiFi enabled multiprocessor with enough GPIO pins to control three FETs. There are a few tutorials on setting them up that I used, and they are listed at the bottom. I wanted to make a cheap board for controlling RGB LED STRIPS. The components are shown below, and the final result is at the end of this post.

Items in the kit, sans SMD components.

Items in the kit, sans SMD components.

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Building a universal power delivery board for the UNO. Part 1: darlington array

The UNO has some great advantages for people starting out and playing around, but the 5v/40ma output power limit can be a bit limiting without additional circuitry. While the UNO is not intended to drive anything directly, it kind of defeats the purpose if you have to hunt through and source a bunch of stuff to attach to do anything. As a result, there are a number of boards available. However, I wanted to build a board for the uno that had a lot of power control options, which didn’t seem to exist. The first thing I wanted to put on was a Darlington array.

Relevant portions of the board for the Darlington array shown highlighted.

Relevant portions of the board for the darlington array shown highlighted.

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Liquid Ion work pt. 1 The frame

I have been doing some work creating CAD models of a friend of mine’s startup product. I haven’t been able to share any of my work before now because it belongs to him, but he has given me the OK now. I am actually really proud of some of the work I did on this. Some of my drafts are not so great, but I had never modeled an existing product and I learned a lot.

600-slide-composite

This exploded view actually didn’t turn out that badly.

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